When designer Claire Thomas tackles a new space, she always starts with a one thing: a story specific to the home.
"I always create a story for a space," Thomas tells MyDomaine. "I find that it makes the design process so much easier, because...you’re able to figure out if something belongs in the space. Does this support the story?"
To see the true power of this design philosophy, one has to look no further than any of Thomas's finished designs. Take, for instance, The Highball House, a vacation home located in Palm Springs, CA, that Thomas recently designed alongside the house's owners, comedians Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig.
One look at the finished home and Thomas's vision is immediately clear.
"The story for Highball was: 1967 Pan am flight to Morocco and Barbara Eden is your flight attendant," she explains. "I’ve been obsessed with "I Dream of Jeannie" since I was a little girl, so the house is sort of like if Jeannie’s bottle became a Palm Springs vacation house."
No where is that "I Dream of Jeannie" inspiration clearer than it is in the home's former walk-in closet, an area the owners now call Jeannie's bottle nap room. Hart considers the space her favorite in the whole house.
"We had this massive closet that was never used and Claire had the idea to reframe the door and put a day bed in then drape it with pink velvet curtains and put in a dramatic lighting fixture," she explains. "It totally transformed it! Not only is it the kitschiest and dreamiest place to take pics and a snooze... it makes the room feel that much bigger."
The integration of kitschy, dreamy, whimsical style is one of Helbig's favorite part of the house as well.
"I think the Highball House conveys our sense of playful relaxation," she tells MyDomaine. "The space invites a flirtatious relief from the rest of the world. It creates a whimsical and cozy atmosphere that feeds the eye and rests the brain."
This is a whimsical oasis meant to stimulate silly, sweet comfort.
Thomas agrees that Helbig and Hart's playful personalities played a big role in the design process.
"Mamrie and Grace have such fabulous personalities, senses of humor, and taste, so we wanted that to come through in their home," she explains.
That, combined with Thomas's vision for a slightly campy, '60s-inspired space that still brings visitors the modern comforts they know and love, makes for a standout space no visitor is soon to forget.
Throughout the home you'll find standout pieces from Joybird, like the curved purple sofa, tile from Concrete Collaborative, fixtures from Signature Hardware, artwork from Tappan Collective, lights from Hudson Valley Lighting, cabinet fronts from Reform CPH and, of course, some truly eye-catching vintage pieces.
"I'm obsessed with the vintage oversized jacks that sit on the outdoor dining table. I’m a sucker for novelty-sized items and those are just so playful. It sets the tone that the backyard is for cornhole, bocce ball, all of the outdoor games," Hart says.
She's also a fan of the vintage mirrors that make you feel like you stepped into the past for a night out at a beautiful cocktail bar.
"I also adore the smoked glass backsplash for the bar and powder room. I’ve always loved the gold veins of vintage smoked mirrors, but it’s so expensive," she explains. "When we realized we could source actual vintage square feet off eBay and just slowly collect instead of splurging for a massive single piece, it was game on."
That masterful pairing of vintage pieces with new additions further cements the home as a haven for design lovers looking for a vacation home that's equal parts relaxing and aesthetically pleasing.
"I hope visitors experience that cheerful sense of calm I feel when I’m there," Helbig says. "This is a whimsical oasis meant to stimulate silly, sweet comfort."